MEDIA: Today, Weisberg and Zakin are co-chief executive officers and co-edit the newsletter. “The Skimm girl,” Weisberg says, “is that friend everyone has who’s sarcastic but always knows what’s going on.” Weisberg and Zakin argue that millennials value conventional news and aspire to a basic level of civic competence. The Skimm’s success suggests that what’s broken about the news isn’t the news, but the delivery mechanism.
LEANLUXE: Mr. Lavelle’s, Mr. Preysman’s, and Mr. Wilson’s chosen avenue is, without question, a lonely one. Few retailers have to courage to take this road, and traditionally it has been the blue hair firms residing at highest end of the luxury spectrum that have upheld it. Hermes, for instance, is notorious for never slashing prices. Its products carry a prestige because of that, and there is always a demand, no matter how frivolous the item.
MEDIA: The Times and many other newspapers have been grappling with advertising fallout for years now, with marketers moving their budgets to digital and Facebook and Google dominating online spending. But print advertising declines have been particularly dramatic this year, arguably leaving the newspaper industry in its most difficult position since the aftermath of the 2008 economic downturn.
ECOMMERCE: It’s a pretty straightforward online shopping experience these days. Using your preferred device (desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone), you can window shop online stores and their various offerings to your heart’s content. Once you find a product that you like, it usually requires just a few clicks to complete the purchase. Some online stores allow you to checkout by using your preferred social media credentials.
BRAND: Today’s customer has a multitude of needs — that’s nothing new. What is new is how brands are addressing those needs: with the products they present, the experiences they o er, and by encouraging the customer to de ne and determine her own journey. Alliance Data’s Now, New, Next trends report takes a comprehensive look at the evolving needs of the customer and how brands are responding through service, engagement, and connectivity.
ECOMMERCE: Amazon Prime is capitalizing on this grievance. Around 54 million people spend $99 a year for expedited shipping through Amazon Prime and the Dash button, which allows Prime members to reorder specific household items with the press of a button, underscores the trend toward convenience commerce. There’s still a barrier to entry: The Dash setup process can be a little confusing, not to mention the buttons cost $4.99 a pop (the price of the button is refunded after the first purchase).
ECOMMERCE: The departures are signs that Wal-Mart's e-commerce operations will get a drastic makeover as Mr. Lore works to boost what have been mostly sluggish sales since Wal-Mart first started a website over 15 years ago. Mr. Lore cut his e- commerce teeth by founding Quidsi Inc., known for Diapers.com, eventually selling the company to Amazon in 2010 for $550 million. Wal-Mart is encouraging Mr. Lore to stay for at least five years with financial incentives, according to filings.
BRAND: Long before Hilfiger was a brand, he was a store owner. He began People’s Place in high school, bringing hippie fashions to upstate New York, while he learned important lessons in commerce. “I had an early bankruptcy with the business before I was 25. And that gave me my MBA — taught me how to focus on the business part of the business,” Hilfiger said. “When you first started, you weren’t necessarily embraced and praised in the fashion industry,” King said.
BRAND: After running the company that bears his name for close to five decades, Ralph Lauren announced last year that he would be stepping aside as CEO. Some were surprised that he did not tap his son, David, who was already the VP of marketing, advertising, and corporate communications. Instead, he hired Stefan Larsson, who has held top roles at Old Navy and H&M. David had something else up his sleeve: Last month, he became Ralph Lauren's first ever chief innovation officer.
BRAND: These new markets should offer fast fashion further room to expand. In recent years, its growth has slowed as it has saturated Western Europe and the US. But Euromonitor states, “Based on forecast real GDP growth, markets such as India, the Philippines, China and Vietnam present considerable opportunities for continued expansion given rising disposable incomes and growing appetite for international brands.”
ECOMMERCE: For many online shops, the cost of a free shipment is either folded into the prices for items or funded by investors. Jerry Storch, CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company, a brick-and-mortar giant that includes Canada’s The Bay department store, Lord & Taylor, and Saks Fifth Avenue, says it’s much more expensive for retailers like them to deliver products to a customer's front door than to have them shop in the store.
BRAND: And for good reason. At $32 billion in annual revenue -- more than the sales of Adidas, Lululemon, Under Armour, and Foot Locker Inc. combined -- Nike is the undisputed leader in athletic apparel and footwear. But Nike has gotten too comfortable in the role, and competitors that started small (i.e. Lululemon and Under Armour) have started to aggressively steal its sales.
Chart of the week: Mobile v. Desktop and internet consumption